Liberal California City Fines Landlord For Helping Veterans
Article from Reason by Christian Britschgi.
Over the past decade, San Francisco landlord Judy Wu (real name Xiaoqi Wu) converted some 12 properties she owns into 49 housing units which she and her husband, Trent Zhu, have rented predominately to low-income veterans, many of whom are disabled, or previously homeless.
These units, however, were only zoned for 15 dwellings. And in 2015, the city’s Planning Department first became aware of the excess units, ordering her to obtain permits to dismantle many of them. In 2016, as she was working to bring her units into compliance, and while her tenants fought to preserve their homes, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera sued Wu, claiming that her unauthorized dwellings “substantially endanger the health, welfare, and safety of individual tenants, the residents of the City and County of San Francisco.”
Many of Wu’s tenants dispute this characterization, saying they are perfectly happy in the units Wu provides them. The most immediate effect of the city’s actions against Wu will likely not be to improve her tenants’ “health, safety, and welfare”, but rather to kick them out of the only homes they have.
Wu’s trial began on Monday. Facing mounting legal fees and the prospect of $8 million in fines, she decided to settle on Tuesday.
Read the entire article at Reason.
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